package of measures to support businesses

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This scheme will support lenders to offer loans up to £5m with no interest due for 6 months – with more information due to be available from 23 March. This has been brought forward, and we now expect the new scheme to become available in week commencing 23 March 2020 Information can be found here.

Mortgage Payment Holiday

This payment holiday will be for at least three months for those facing financial difficulty as a result of coronavirus.

A new lending facility from the Bank of England

This is to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans.

HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

Statutory Sick Pay

Businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be entitled to receive a refund for Statutory Sick Pay costs they incur because of coronavirus. The refund will be limited to two weeks per employee.

The government will bring forward legislation to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

  • this refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
  • employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible – the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
  • employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  • employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website
  • eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force
  • the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible

The rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided once the legalisation has passed. We will keep you up to date as we learn more.

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